Friday, March 22, 2013

Kubler-Ross and The Five Stages

It's Friday morning, very quiet as I sit here alone in this darkened living room. To my right a lamp sits on a table cluttered with my drink, a paperback book and a set of coasters that are clear glass and held by their own stand. The coasters have envelope sleeves on them and each one has a picture of the grandchildren. The lamp sheds very little light. It's those new spiral bulbs that are the culprit. They just don't seem to do the job that the old incandescents did.
There are also sweat rings from a hot drink that missed the coaster, a light film of dust and a column of dental floss.

Someone really needs to move away from all her distractions and do a little house work. Today is the day. I promise myself.

I'm monitoring my self for the 5 stages of the Kubler-Ross model of grief and how and when I go in and out of each one. Being  aware of them helps me get through them without beating myself up too badly about my behavior.

The Denial: not returning the doctor's call after the second mammo had to be done. He called on a Thursday with a message to to call his office. I knew he would be closed on Friday and I deliberately did not call on Thursday when I got the message. My thoughts on that: I'll have the next three days that will be my normal life for me. I knew after talking to the doctor, my life would change and I wanted 3 more days of what would soon become known as my prior life. I called on Monday.

We go in and out of the five stages during a loss. I'm aware and I will be alert to where I am in this model and that none of the stages last forever.

I've started projecting into the future. Though I know I'm months away from the mastectomy, I've already began research on this. The pictures  of reconstruction leave me wondering why I would even want to go that route. The tattooed sleeve short tank top looks more appealing. I must remember to check to see if I can be arrested for going topless should I choose that route. Compared to what there is to offer, right now the tattoo has my vote and I'm not one that thought I would ever let my body be used like a coloring book.

Have you taken a look at breast reconstruction before and afters? You might not be ready. Do every thing in your own time. You will know when that is. Acceptance is the stage you have reached.

I may be in the stage of Acceptance but I want to row my own boat down that river.
I discussed this with the daughter last night and the oncologist yesterday afternoon.

The oncologist confirmed my suspicions. They weren't estectically pleasing. They were just to make your clothes fit better.
If face transplants can be done successfully now, and women can have breast implants that look like halfs of cantelopes stuck to their chest, why couldn't a reconstruct look at least as good as those implants. EXPANDERS..that's the answer.

I now know enough about the subject to request expanders to be placed in the chest wall at the time of the mastectomy.

The daughter knew my concerns and sent me this video:

As I watched this young girls' peppy attitude, it raised my spirits that she was taking this so well and at such a young age. It also offered hope that the after the pictures I had been looking at were not what I would have to accept.

I will be discussing this with the oncologist  as an option to be done at the time of the surgery.

Nobody wants to have a body, though a bit old and tattered, faded and scarred, that veers too strongly away from what they have been used to. I'm requesting a smaller size. Will there be a tube top in my luck tube tops are out style and so our my shoulders. I've passed that time.
 I've already told my husband that if he thought he was going to miss these, he could have them. They won't be on my chest wall.

The video was just the thing I needed to "let go". You might be thinking this is still early on to be anticipating this surgery. I want plenty of time to research and learn to accept what is coming.

The "D" word (depression) in the Kubler-Ross model is the one I fear the most. I'm making plans. I plan on not just sitting around through the upcoming processes.

I'm cranking up my bike (gonna have to buy a new one) and dropping the top on the roadster and take me and my cancer for many mini trips around the area. Maybe I'll get a pink ribbon on a stuffed  white 4ft. tall bear or bunny and have it in each photo I shoot on my travels. It can ride in the passenger seat, tall and elegant with it's pink twisted ribbon. In my album looking back, it will denote the time in my life needing no caption.

If anyone asks about it, I'll just tell them I'm taking my cancer for a ride.

Enough of my silliness. I'm going to brew a pot of coffee and wait until the nail salon opens and get a manicure. Yesterday I waxed my upper lip. I forgot to ask April to do me a favor should I become unaware or unable to do it in my future. Look for chin hairs and remove them. I would do the same for her should she ever be unable to take care of them herself.

Maybe I need to draw up a contract on that? I'll have to think on it a bit. Here's the video of the young lady AGAIN in case you prefer to watch it AFTER reading this post. I was so impressed with:


  1. I didn't know about expanders. The video was very interesting, and the girl has such a positive attitude. I think the most important thing about all these different stages is for you to feel that you are in control of everything. Your vast knowledge will help you understand so much more than most people. Whether that is an advantage or not, I'm not quite sure? Only you can answer that xxxx

  2. my knowledge demands that I ask qustions and I thik the doctors have begun to realize tht thier patient can be talked to in medical terms without a problem of following them.
    I want a captain of this ship and I'm gratefu they allow me some input.


Comments are moderated to prevent spam posters. Leave a comment! It's nice to know you visited!